"Ordinary moments...saturated with extraordinary significance."
- Sam Keen
That would be how I describe the week in Boracay, Philippines.
A week on an island gave a real glimpse into the reality of the state of being human at this moment in time. What is a shower? A meal, a bed, a house, a daily routine? All these were brought into question just by being on a small island in the Philippines. I got to observe firsthand total chaos of streets/markets/shops/transit and in that chaos saw that the rhythm or the heartbeat or the breath of society was there underneath it all. Same as in the USA. As in Mexico. The same breath was there that I have seen everywhere I have ever been.
As we travel, I have been examining for what lessons can we try on here that we can take back to the more traditional style of organized life in the west. One of these is spontaneous in the moment day of planning has been a big part of our journey. We are actively in an exercise of what it is that we "have to have" to feel we have a plan. Do we have to know the next step? Do we have to get housing before we check if a flight is available that day? Does it really matter where in the world our bodies are located? We have booked flights day of or one day before three times now with beautiful results each time!
"The meaning of my life, my calling, is discovered only within the intimacy of my experience."
- Sam Keen, again
That statement makes the stand for the truly essential nature of variety of experience, to further discover ourselves through a changing lens.
Some things I'm learning about myself on this trip:
-power/control/having it "figured out" are comfortable and states I subconsciously and consciously strive for even when it doesn't have to be so
-I can make do with a LOT less than I ever thought. Less clothes. Less time to shower and prepare my body for the day. Less meat. Less food. Less stability. Less consistency. Lessons in Less.
-human connection is what really brings me joy. Riding a motor cycle and grasping the driver in a body as a seat belt embrace. A spontaneous brushing of bodies and moment of intimate kissing on a rooftop with a virtual stranger. Listening and learning about the life of the people working at our hostel day in and day out. People from Korea, Pakistan, Poland, Norway, who see life in a variety of flavors I never knew.
-human connection with the known figures in my life is a real hunger for me. I have an appetite for my family, friends, committed connections I have made for communication. Those relationships and communications shape my days so much when I have ready access to them. I rely on them for nourishment. I long for them.
Some practical reflections on the Philippines
Philippine Markets: beautifully stocked with all the veggies, meat and prepared food you could desire. For vegetarian diets there are plenty of varieties of produce and rice to be combined in a myriad of stews and stir fries. The spices of choice are garlic and chili. Not much in the way of green herbs
Massage: amazing, extremely affordable, chiropractic essence as well. I paid $7 for a full body 1 hour massage. Jon got a foot massage for a 1/2 hour to repair a running injury for just $6.
Transit: riding motorcycles or scooters is the most fun by far!! It costs between 1 - 2 dollars to get anywhere on Boracay Island. Second most fun transit is the "jeep" vehicle that just goes and goes and I don't understand the route system at all or where they are going, but you hop on for a while for a few cents and it's sooo fun!
Everything is incredibly affordable! Highly recommended. Super safe. Super fun. Super possible. Go for it!